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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 193723 22-Mar-2016 09:00
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Hi there,

 

I am looking to install a heat pump and would like to install a smart thermostat to control it. However I cannot work out what (if any) NZ heat pumps are compatible with the various smart thermostats (they all assume you have an existing thermostat on the wall and can look at the wires) - the heat pump installers I have spoken to don't seem to be willing to look into it (just saying "it has a wifi module - use that...). All the thermostats say they need 24volt power (not high voltage), but not sure how to determine whether a heat pump comes with a low voltage thermostat that I could replace with one of these.

 

I am using Smartthings as a home automation hub, so ideally want a thermostat that is compatible with that.

 

If anyone knows if any of these can work with NZ heat pumps, or a Wellington heat pump installer who has installed any of these, I would be most grateful.

 

Smart thermostats:

 

1. Zen Thermostat (marketed as available in NZ) - http://zenthermostat.com/ 

 

2. Honeywell Lyric (seem to be able to buy from NZ vendors) - http://yourhome.honeywell.com/en/products/thermostat/lyric-thermostat 

 

3. ecobee3 (not sure it is sold in NZ) - https://www.ecobee.com/; or

 

4. Nest (not sold in NZ) - https://nest.com/thermostat/meet-nest-thermostat/ 


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  Reply # 1517377 22-Mar-2016 09:04
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Welcome to Geekzone :) Have you considered reading the other discussions on this topic? One here, another here.

 

Heat pumps have thermostats built in. What exactly is it you're trying to achieve? A timer? Some kind of proximity function? Something else?





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  Reply # 1517380 22-Mar-2016 09:14
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Good luck with this - smart thermostats are not common in NZ at all so not surprised your installers are stumped.  I'd be keen to know if you come up with a solution. 


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  Reply # 1517381 22-Mar-2016 09:15
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US / Europe thermostats are virtually non existent in NZ except for the business environments. We don't have central heating like they do.

 

 




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1517387 22-Mar-2016 09:23
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Hi Timmmay,

 

I'm looking at integrating the heat pump with my existing smart home setup (via Smartthings), basically the thermostat will know the weather forecast, when someone leaves or arrives home, when there is motion in a room, status of windows / lights etc (as well as day / night cycles that a traditional timer may do) so I can set up various automations for it based on what is going on at home, (e.g. only heating the rooms in use, switching on when I leave work etc etc).

 

thanks for the links - these may be a good solution if none of the Smart Thermostats are compatible - could probably jury rig something via IFTTT with the sensibo




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1517390 22-Mar-2016 09:25
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Thanks Pedrogarcia and sbiddle,

 

I have emailed Zen, who market their thermostat as being available and working in NZ to see if they can recommend any compatible units etc and will report back when they reply.

 

 


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  Reply # 1517404 22-Mar-2016 10:02
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I just checked the Zen website compatibility tool and it says Daikin is not compatible :( 




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1517421 22-Mar-2016 10:28
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pedrogarcia - I know! Zen website says nothing in NZ is compatible! (which seems strange given they market as working in NZ) - received a reply from Zen which is not encouraging...

 

Hi Mark,

 

The unit you described already has a built in remote controller thermostat.

 

https://www.fujitsugeneral.com.au/product/astg12lvcc---3.5kw%28c%29-4.8kw%28h%29

 

If this in fact is the unit you are describing, then the Zen would not be compatible.

 

As far as contractors who we could recommend- we do not have any in the NZ area to assist.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Will see if they can advise any heat pumps that are compatible... Not sure what they mean by "The unit you described already has a built in remote controller thermostat." and why that affects compatibility.

 

Cheers.


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  Reply # 1517425 22-Mar-2016 10:34
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I think what they (and others on this forum) are saying is that you can already control the temperature with either an old school remote or a through WIFI on your smartphone.  I can already do the latter, but i'm limited to setting timers or starting the unit remotely over the internet - it can't do anything actually smart like geofencing or connecting to weather data.  

 

I'd love a Zen thermostat on my wall that looks good and does all the thinking for me, but seems like it's a no go here in NZ.  

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1517428 22-Mar-2016 10:38
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I think you're getting a little confused about the purpose of a smart thermostat in a central heating solution vs a heat pump. A thermostat in a typical European or US home is simply what it says - it detects the temperature and controls the central heating thermostat. It's a very simply device that normally only has a couple of wires and replacing it with a smart thermostat is very simple.

 

A heat pump functions completely differently. There is no way you could integrate an off the shelf smart thermostat into a heat pump because they're two completely different things.

 

Most heat pumps now have some sort of smart control built in. If you one doesn't I suggest you look at the many IR addons for older units that will turn them into a smart device.

 

 


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  Reply # 1517434 22-Mar-2016 11:05
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Netatmo

Expensive, but might work. 


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  Reply # 1517439 22-Mar-2016 11:08
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Disrespective:

 

Netatmo

Expensive, but might work. 

 

 

Won't work for the reasons I gave above. This product is no different (fundamentally) to the one the OP has. It's designed for a central heating system, not a heat pump.

 

There are now huge numbers of smart controlled thermostats on the market in the US - I probably saw 50+ at CES this year.


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  Reply # 1517463 22-Mar-2016 11:16
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Www.pebbleair.com

Not a thermostat (it's a cloud based remote control), but allows you to program more detailed schedules and remotely view room temperature.

Or, just set the temperature to one of your liking, leave it on auto and hide the remote. They use so little power when set to something reasonable that you can get away with this.

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  Reply # 1517490 22-Mar-2016 11:35
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There are some Z-wave IR controllers in NZ

 

 

 

http://www.activeautomation.co.nz/z-wave-to-ac-ir-extender

 

 


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  Reply # 1517492 22-Mar-2016 11:36
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I agree with sbiddle here - heat pump heating sources are simply not designed to be used with these smart thermostats.

 

FYI - I have automated my heat pump, and I would call it smart, but it is not like a Nest. It adjusts the heat pump set point depending on who is home (the wife likes things a bit warmer). It shuts off when we all go to bed and turns on half an hour before we get up to ensure the living room is nice and toasty.

 

It will also turn off when no one is home which is similar to something like a Nest I guess.

 

The rules are very explicit however and I have full control over them (thanks to openHAB). There is no way I would leave the control up to a *black box* device like a Nest...

 

 




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1517745 22-Mar-2016 16:00
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Thanks for the input all - I may have been a little hopefully the 'smart thermostats' would work after seeing the Zen and it being marketed in NZ - was hoping for a wired interface into the heat pump that worked with my smart home set up and turned it on / off and varied temp based upon the other things going on at home. More like a replacement to the wired controllers that you can have installed with the heat pumps (a 'smart wired controller' rather than a 'smart thermostat' if you will). 

 

Been looking at Tado / Sensibo (thanks Timmmay et al) IR control systems this afternoon and these looks like these can be used with Smartthings (with unofficial smartapps) which may be a promising alternative. Also can jury rig compatibility through IFTTT with both of these.

 

My installer has been suggesting pebbleair but I like the box on the wall that you can set the temp for the girlfriend factor. Tado looks to be front runner on that front.

 

I had emailed Zen this morning asking if they could advise what was compatible in NZ (whatever the system type was)... will post back here for interest sake if they reply.

 

p.s. OpenHAB was a bit beyond me, tried setting it up a year or so ago just to control lights and never managed to get it running. 'Black boxes' are a bit easier to use for an enthusiastic amateur like me...


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